Today is Blog Action Day. A day on which thousands of bloggers, worldwide focus on a specific subject of concern. This year the subject is water… a basic element of life. But not every has access to clean, safe drinking water. Did you know…Nearly 1 billion people lack access to clean water, which causes a litany of struggles, diseases and even death? Or that some scholars attribute the conflict in Darfur at least in part to lack of access to water.
Jean de Florette
A war over water...That is why I chose Jean de Florette and Manon of the Spring for Blog Action Day. The French classic movies star Yves Montand as Cesar Soubeyran (Le Papet) and Daniel Auteuil as his nephew Ugolin; greedy land owners who covet a neighboring farm. In order to bankrupt the farm’s owner, Jean de Florette (Gérard Depardieu), Le Papet and Ugolin block up the only source of water for the Florette farm.
When hunch-backed, city dweller, Jean de Florette inherits property from his mother he moves his wife and young daughter Manon to a small farm in Provence. What he didn’t know was his neighbor, Cesar Soubeyran had his eyes on the farm. Not for the land, but because the Florette farm had its own water source. A spring. Which made it the most valuable piece of property in the area. Without this precious water, crops wouldn’t grow and the farm was worthless.
Determined to make a success of his little farm, Florette stays. He makes the arduous trip to the village well, carrying precious water for his plants and his family. Praying for rain, hoping for water and watching his crops die, Florette doesn’t give up. Not until his attempts to find water eventually kill him.
Manon of the Spring
Years after her father’s tragic death, the grown up Manon learns of the Soubeyran’s treachery. When she accidently discovers the source of not only her father’s spring, but the underground water source of the entire village, she is enraged to learn that her father worked himself to death for lack of water. Manon blocks the spring and the village is waterless. Now the tables are turned.
Tempers flare, fortunes are threatened and secrets are soon revealed. This family’s whole existence depended on water. And but for the selfish desires of a rich neighbor, they would have had enough water to survive and even flourish. That is the core on which this year’s theme for Blog Action Day focuses: Water is the source of life and a basic human right.
How Can You Help?
charity: water is a non-profit organization bringing clean and safe drinking water to people in developing nations. 100% of public donations directly fund water projects. You can help us build wells. A freshwater well costs $5,000 and can serve an average of 250 people with clean, safe drinking water for 20 years. Just $20 serves one person with clean, safe drinking water. Donate.